Mass immigration grinds big cities to a halt

By Leith van Onselen

Anyone that lives in Sydney or Melbourne will have experienced the crippling rise in congestion on our transport networks first hand. Morning and evening peaks now run for hours, traffic is forever thick on the weekends, and the time taken to travel from point A to point B now takes longer than ever.

Over the weekend, The Australian confirmed what we living in the big cities already know: commuting is fast becoming a nightmare:

The number of vehicles travelling in Australian cities has grown almost tenfold in the past 70 years and, with exponential population growth not being met with adequate road infrastructure upgrades, traffic speeds are crawling to a standstill…

Last year, a report from the Committee for Economic Development of Australia said congestion could cost the nation more than $50 billion in lost productivity by 2031 unless addressed.

The latest congestion bill was $16.5bn in 2015.

Congestion levels on major arterial roads are at a high, with most cities suffering much slower travel times and lower average speeds than previously recorded…

Sydney, which last year was named the nation’s most congested city by peak transport body Austroads, has seen significant reductions in average speeds even since 2011. The population of Greater Sydney has risen by almost 300,000 people during that time, reaching almost five million…

Melbourne is growing by 2000 new drivers each week, with more than 200,000 vehicles travelling across the West Gate Bridge between the CBD and western suburbs each day…

Between 2006 and 2013, speeds on Melbourne’s major arterial roads have slowed by an average of 13km/h, with speeds on the West Gate Freeway entry ramp from Williamstown Road slowing to half the speed limit of 100km/h during morning peak hours…

The primary culprit is pretty obvious for those that care to look: the explosion in population growth, which has seen Melbourne add one million people over the past 12 years (a 27% increase) and Sydney add 821,000 people (a 20% increase):

In October last year, Infrastructure Partnerships Australia (IPA) released a report that used Uber driver information to measure “road network performance” in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth to drill down into average travel times at different hours of the day.

The results were based on the following number of drivers in each city:

ScreenHunter_15370 Oct. 11 07.21

And found that “efficiency” pretty much followed the level of population growth:

ScreenHunter_15371 Oct. 11 07.21

In Melbourne, which is the population ponzi king, travel times have worsened materially, followed by Sydney, which has also experienced strong population growth. Brisbane only experienced a minor worsening in travel times. Whereas in Perth, where population growth has cratered, travel times have actually improved.

The Bureau of Infrastructure and Regional Economics has also forecast soaring costs of congestion, particularly in Sydney and Melbourne, over the next 15 years:

ScreenHunter_15369 Oct. 11 07.21

The underlying driver of this population growth and rising congestion is the ‘Big Australia’ mass immigration program being run by the federal government and supported by the three major political parties – the Coalition, Labor and The Greens.

While net overseas migration (NOM) has fluctuated as long-stay temporary migrants have come and gone, the fact remains that Australia’s immigration settings are set at turbo-charged levels and are projected to remain so for decades to come, thus maintaining Australia’s population growth at around 400,000 people a year – equivalent to adding a Canberra to Australia’s population:

Underpinning this high NOM is Australia’s permanent migration program, which is currently 200,000 a year, comprising:

  • 128,550 Skill stream places (of which half includes skilled migrant’s family members);
  • 57,400 Family stream places;
  • 308 Special Eligibility stream places; and
  • 13,750 Humanitarian places.

This permanent migration program was ramped-up massively from the early-2000s, as shown in the next chart:

Accordingly, in the 16 years to 2016, Australia’s net overseas migration (NOM) rocketed to an annual average of 200,000 people a year – almost triple the historical average of around 70,000 people a year.

As shown in the next chart, which comes from the Productivity Commission’s (PC) recent Migrant Intake into Australia report, 86% of immigrants lived in the major cities of Australia in 2011, whereas only 65% of the Australian-born population did:

ScreenHunter_17913 Mar. 13 16.00
Moreover, “of the immigrants living in capital cities in 2011, most lived in either Sydney or Melbourne, with 1.5 million residents of Sydney and 1.3 million residents of Melbourne born overseas”. Thus, immigration is having a particularly big impact in Australia’s two largest cities, which are already suffering the worst housing affordability and congestion in Australia.

The situation is set to deteriorate even further, too, with Australia’s population expected to grow to around 40 million mid-century under current settings, driven almost exclusively by mass immigration:

And because of this mass immigration, Sydney’s population is projected to grow by 87,000 people per year (1,650 people each week) to 6.4 million over the next 20-years – effectively adding another Perth to the city’s population:

ScreenHunter_15562 Oct. 18 15.29

It’s even worse in Melbourne, whose population is projected to balloon by 97,000 people per year (1,870 people each week) over the next 35 years to more than 8 million people – effectively adding 2.5 Adelaide’s to the city’s population over this time period:

ScreenHunter_15632 Oct. 23 12.16

It’s common sense that ramming 80,000 to 100,000 extra people into Sydney and Melbourne each year will create immense pressures on housing, infrastructure, congestion, and overall livability.

Even former Treasury secretary Ken Henry gets it, last year sounding the alarm that rapid population growth has overrun infrastructure and housing in the big cities:

“My observation in Sydney, in Melbourne, today is that people already think – with very good reason – that the ratio of population to infrastructure is too high,” he said.

Australia will need to construct a new city every year as big as Canberra or Newcastle to accommodate the expanding number of people, he said. Or, every 5 years,

Australia would need to build an entire new city from scratch for 2 million people; or an entire new city as big as Melbourne every decade.

Without such action, there will be more congestion, longer commute times to work and increasing problems with housing affordability…

Where is the national plan to cope with this mass immigration? How will Australia’s governments and businesses ensure that incumbent Australians’ living standards will not be eroded by the associated pressures on infrastructure, housing, the environment, and the dilution of Australia’s fixed mineral endowment, which is a key driver of our wealth and living standards?

Residents of Sydney and Melbourne, in particular, know that their living standards will be smashed if mass immigration is allowed to continue. Therefore, reducing immigration back to the long-run average of 70,000 people annually, as advocated by the Sustainable Australia party, is becoming critical. This would see Australia’s population stablise at around 32 million mid-century, rather than the current projection of around 40 million.

Because as it stands, Australia cannot possibly hope to build enough infrastructure to supply a Canberra-worth of new residents each and every year for decades to come, which is what we are facing under Australia’s current mad immigration settings.

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Comments

  1. I saw a bumper sticker from SAP a few days ago!

    But it only said “Sustainable Australia” and not “Vote 1 Sustainable Australia Party”. Oh dear.

    They really need to say “less immigration, less overcrowding, less poverty – vote 1 SAP”.

    • 101% Agree, for a political party they ain’t behaving like one. Politics is a grubby business, they’ll get no where being nice and academic, when the system LNP, ALP and Greens is out to get them.
      Went to one of their meetings and never went back. Some good ideas though. Surely they can do better,

      • If Mr Bourke is afraid of being called “racist” then he does not have the ticker to be PM. Candidates in other nations risk death to become an MP.

        Even a slight cut to immigration to be more in line with Canada will result in ignorant idiots screaming “racist” anyway – so SAP may as well do the full monty and promise to slash immigration by 150k/year or more.

        I saw some of ABC Q&A 24 Apr 2017 in which they talked about 457 visas and immigration. No mention of Canada at all!

        http://www.abc.net.au/tv/qanda/txt/s4639267.htm

      • “Candidates in other nations risk death to become an MP.”

        And yet, Jacob, when people migrate out of those dangerous and undemocratic “other nations” and try to make a better, safer life for their families in Australia, you label them “third-world scum.”

    • the everything issue

      @Jacob perhaps you saw an older bumper sticker. http://www.votesustainable.org.au/merchandise.
      Population/immigration is still poorly understood. Many people just don’t get that our immigration program is too high, mainly because mainstream media don’t tell them. SAP are helping to educate people in that regard.

      • “Sustainable Australia” is not electrifying the electorate which is a real shame.
        I think many voters would think they are just another Greenie political party. They like to portray themselves as a centralist party. – Center of what?
        If one seriously wants to implement change.
        -Need to do preference deals with One Nation. (Enemy of my enemy is my friend), remember One Nation will never govern in their own right.
        -Need to stop preferencing odd ball green groups.
        -A strong anti corruption platform, spruike Federal ICAC. A strong anti corruption platform is extremely low hanging fruit for any political party aiming for Senate seats. – even lower than a low immigration level platform. Public is pissed off with things like expensive allowance scandals, and retired members going to work for Chinese developers and resources lobby groups.
        Rename the SAP to have some sort of anti corruption message included in the name, which catches the eye of the pissed off voter filling out the ballot paper on election day.
        The name “No Corruption in Federal Politics Party” would generate more votes than “Sustainable Australia”

    • They’d be more plausible if they presented analysis and solutions versus blaming ‘immigrants’ who seem to buy houses and cars at the airport then drive round all day……..

      Give you a heads up, this is only helping the fossil fuel and racist lobby, meanwhile it diverts attention from fossil fuels, sub-optimal energy and transport policies, and our obsession with motor cars.

      Without assembly lines it’s a great opportunity to remove cars from salary packages for tax benefits, status, indolence and need to commute to and from work by car.

      Think you need someone environmentally and politically motivated like eg. Bob Carr, he’ll clamp down on tollways etc. while promoting ‘sustainable limits to growth’? 🙂

  2. stagmalMEMBER

    i respect the sustainability australia party but i have the same reservations about them you guys do. i think they’re too academic and too oriented towards the rational, though their main problem is they don’t have a base. despite being fundamentally contradictory, environmentalism and immigrationism overwhelmingly go hand in hand in the general population. you will very rarely encounter somebody who calls themselves an environmentalist who simultaneously isnt an open-borders zealot. this is because the psychological motivations for both environmentalism and immigrationism in most people extend from ‘humanistic’ and virtue signalling impulses, not from a rational assessment of the value or underlying empiricism of these issues. because of this SAP are doomed to political obscurity; their whole brand, as well-meaning and logically sound as it is, is based on an intersection of policy positions that largely does not exist in the general population.

    i also think they’re too soft on immigration period. i don’t like their “let’s return to historical immigration averages” position; they obviously do this to attempt to cover their arses and avoid accusations of racism (because nothing would be more racist than advocating a no, or very low immigration policy!!) but they don’t seem to get that they’ll COP THOSE ACCUSATIONS ANYWAY. any call for any change in immigration levels *beyond* an increase will incur accusations of racism.

    they are lucky they are so obscure because i doubt they have it in them (too nice) to cop the inevitable vitriol and slander — and yes, there WOULD be vitriol and slander– from the open borders mafia if they ever became more prominent. the globalists are like the terminator and the sustainability party would fold like playing cards to them.

    i have been thinking of starting my own political party, which would attempt to tap into the nationalistic sentiments fueling one nation but with a more ‘intellectual’ branding.

    • mild colonialMEMBER

      Dont over do it. There are plenty of environmentalists who are against open borders and there are p,enty of politically left union types who are against high immigration, who see it for the wage lowering, union breaking practice that it is in Australia. Labor party has been run by apparatchiks selling out workers for decades now, see, was it, Sweepers?, rants on Keating. Greens are split between low immigration environment protectors and those who say we cant isolate ourselves from the results of glo al warming, it has to solved globally- that is people losing their land will have to be allowed in here. And Greens have been hopeless on seeing the class dynamics of immigration but hey that is meant to be ALP core business. Of course, as an aside, both parties clearly think that using the word *class* is electoral suicide.

      • SchillersMEMBER

        “there are plenty of politically left union types who are against high immigration..
        “Greens are split between low immigration environment protectors…”

        I have seen zero evidence of this in recent times. Those currently in control of the ALP and the Greens are dead set in favour of mass immigration, open borders and a BIG Australia. Ditto the unions.
        The Greens want to increase Australia’s migrant intake via a substantial increase in the humanitarian quota. Both the unions and the greens want to prioritise and increase the family reunion component over the skilled migration component.
        In it’s submission to the 2016 Productivity Commission’s enquiry into Australia’s migrant intake, the CFMEU had this to say:
        “Overseas migration contributes to more than half of Australia’s population growth. In terms of the size of the program, the CFMEU supports no change to the current intake given the current economic climate and high level of unemployment.”

        https://www.cfmeu.org.au/sites/cfmeuvic-7-x.com.au/files/uploads/DIBP%20CFMEU%20submission.pdf

      • Well, yes, a pretty unsurprising position for a construction union to take. given that first sentence could have easily said
        ‘population growth contributes more than half of our members wages’

    • stagmalMEMBER

      lol no. there are a few but ‘plenty’ is ridiculous. they’re a fringe.

    • the everything issue

      LibLabGreens are too gutless to tackle population and sustainability. That’s where Sustainable Australia Party will succeed. They won’t shy away from the need to have a rational and mature discussion. It is far right groups who will fail by singling out of race / ethnicity / religion and ignoring the big picture issues.

      Were there cries of ‘racist’ when our immigration was around 70,000? Why should there be if SAP are simply advocating for a return to that level, and allowing population to stabilise?

      Well done to Leith for supporting SA and helping to keep the issue on the boil. We need many more like you.


      • Were there cries of ‘racist’ when our immigration was around 70,000?

        You must have been yet to finish primary school in 1996 – yes, of course there were cries of ‘racist’ when our immigration was lower.

  3. HadronCollision

    I had to stop myself getting into an Internet argument with some clown on Quora claiming the reason people want to live in Straya (and the sole reason house prices had gone up) was “coz it’s a nice place to live”

    Good god

  4. When the boom is over, immigration will go into reverse all on its own — a rapid contraction in private debt will see to that, and then the truly scary part of the cycle will start.

    Then again, the bigger the ponzi bubble, the greater the lesson to be learnt. And after that we should be right for another 120 years!

    • Oh yes – I can just see Ma and Pa Xiang or Singh who were family reunited into a cushy PR in the last 5-10 years and now have their prized Medicare Card and aged pension entitlements packing up and going back to their country of origin ….

    • FeknameMEMBER

      Its all relative. Lower living standards and income will look awful to locals, but foreigners could be found who would consider those conditions an upgrade.

      We still have a lot of ‘fat’ that can be cut: Funding for education, for roads, for electricity etc.

      • Only if we maintain strongly positive real per capita income growth. Otherwise, other countries will over take us more desirable destinations, especially given the global trend of countries who get close to zero or negative population growth to increase rates of immigration.

      • “other countries will over take us more desirable destinations, especially given the global trend of countries who get close to zero or negative population growth to increase rates of immigration.”

        Exactly. Japan, just to give one example, is losing population at a rate of 1 million people per year. They could take our whole annual intake and then some and it would barely touch the sides.

        And this is not just theoretical. Although there is a lot of perception management involved because of the famous homogeneity (read xenophobia) of the Japanese people, the Japanese government is currently pulling out all the stops to promote immigration, sorry, to “attract foreign workers.”

      • @First,

        Add South Korea, Norway, Russia…
        and when China gets on board- then you’re gonna see something.

  5. demografixMEMBER

    Leith, in your main Australian Population Change graph, you have total at approx 400,000 and our NOM at 190,000, making our natural growth 210,000 by 2020.
    http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/[email protected]/mf/3101.0 has our last natural growth at 155,000 and we know that number is going to start to fall as deaths increase. Curious as to why you think our natural growth is going to rise?

      • demografixMEMBER

        Well, because you should question the data when it appears that natural growth is going from 155,000 to 200,000k in only three years, when we know that deaths start to increase. Odd that you would not question the ‘official’ data?

      • Your pedantry and obfuscation is quite extraordinary (and pathetic). Rather than focus on the big issues of whether mass immigration is working for ordinary Australians, you instead choose to hijack the debate arguing that Australia’s population will grow at a slightly less turbo-charged speed than the official forecasts.

        You choose to fiddle as Rome burns.


      • Those are the official forecasts. Why wouldn’t I use them?

        You might view them with some scepticism, seeing as the ABS projections that most of the others are based on were published in 2013 using data no more recent than June 2012, and NOM has been below the lowest assumed scenario every single year since the projections were published, by as much as 24%.

      • demografixMEMBER

        Leith, you should question those official predictions as a professional. If you choose not to and simply adopt the highest past predictions then you are no better than Dick Smith and an alarmist.
        The high population growth we have experienced in the past is by all predictions not to be repeated moving forward and all of the issues you talk about are to do with increased urbanisation, not population growth of an entire nation. Many place in Australia have been and remain in population decline.

        The issues related to increased urbanisation in just two cities mainly due to immigration but not exclusively, is not the be all and end all of our immigration, emigration or our natural growth story as a nation.

      • Several significant errors here, how does the NOM relate statistically to estimated resident population when the former is a snapshot of data while the latter is a cumulative mix of inputs including births, deaths and NOM ie. also reflecting temporary churnover from 12+ months to long term e.g. 5 years.

        Keeping in mind 2006 NOM change in definition inflated the headline data due to temps which should preclude any comparison according to formal statistics.

        The dynamic we have been observing, is the significantly younger temporary churnover and spikes on top of the citizen and PR population, but they will probably smooth out over time, why? Because the permanent cap of 200k limits the growth of permanent population which is quite balanced with below replacement rate fertility and increasing death rates.

        But, it’s easier to demonise ‘immigrants’ than expecting Australians, politicians, their IPA and fossil fuel patrons to adapt for a low carbon economy, threatening their interests; very courageous and ethical example of nativism masquerading as Australian values while dumbing everybody down..

    • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

      Higher birth rate amoungst overseas born Australians?

      We are at our highest percentage since the 1880s of overseas born Aussies.

      • demografixMEMBER

        1973 was the last time we were at replacement fertility and I am pretty sure we have had some immigration since then…..

        On deaths…

        The death bust (80 years after the baby boom) must be factored into any demographic arguments and our natural growth is downhill from here on in.
        http://tinyurl.com/k3c6jsc

      • Higher fertility amongst overseas born parents (if it actually exists) has no bearing on the percentage of Australians born overseas.

    • Baruch Spinoza

      Deaths start to increase – so too do births. Further, deaths actually start to DECREASE due to increase in health standards.

      How about instead of leading us all down your merry path of semantics littered with red herrings you just come clean and talk to us about how you find any discussion on immigration upsetting to your cognitive dissonance and penchant for viewing all and sundry who dare raise the issue blathering racists.

      Better out than in.

      .

      • demografixMEMBER

        Quite a rant. Racists? Sorry, I am on the home planet, not sure which planet you are on. The Spinoza I know would have accepted the science of demographic predictions and projections.

        There is no evidence to support that our fertility rate is set to increase at all.

        I support a NOM of approx 40k. I also understand that 80 years after a baby boom come a dramatic in creased in deaths.

        Treasury also mapped this out quite clearly until quite recently and I suspect it is due to the political pressure that may result, that is the need to dramatically increase the NOM to compensate. Not really sure why.
        http://demografixfromoz.blogspot.com.au/2015/11/our-looming-death-bust-part-2.html

        Rate of Natural Growth Moving Forward
        http://tinyurl.com/kv3wthx

        Population Growth Rate Moving Forward
        http://tinyurl.com/lupr2sv

        My predictions follow closely the UN data of 33million by 2050 and 40 million by 2100
        https://esa.un.org/unpd/wpp/Graphs/Probabilistic/POP/TOT/

      • demografixMEMBER

        Robert, longevity does seem to be tapering off and may even go into decline as I understand it. Obesity being the number one factor in this.
        I will read your links now.

      • I think Mr Corbyn in the second link is trying to suggest that longevity in the UK is decreasing due to cuts to health care over the last two or three decades.
        It seems pretty inevitable that as the proportion of the population over 65 increases, health care funding will be altered so that less money is spent on the health care of each over 65 year old (i.e. my now deceased grandparents very likely received a better standard of care that I – and possibly even my parents – can expect).

      • demografixMEMBER

        Robert,
        Interesting but I suppose it is quite obvious that their would be a direct correlation between health spending and longevity at least from a pure political point of view.
        The increased actual number of deaths will come into play with regard to longevity I suppose and that seems to be the UK case?

      • Yes, in the UK case it seems that life expectancy was adjusted downwards when death rates in specific age-cohorts were higher than implicitly predicted when the last set of life tables (which need to make an assumption about future longevity trends) was published.
        Effectively, for the first time in a fairly long while, longevity improvements were not as great as expected, whereas in the past they usually have been, allowing life insurers to keep some cream.
        Longevity is not falling – yet – but to me this raises the possibility that longevity increases in some developed countries could at least pause in my lifetime (and within the UN’s projection horizon), rather than being automatic and unstoppable.

      • @ Demografix Question, assuming there is agreement to lower the NOM, how could it be done considering the broad definition?

        In the UK it’s known as the ‘nebulous NOM’ as nobody understands it, and the complex dynamics that lie behind it e.g. doing pottery with jelly……

        In the case of Australia it would mean both restricting and knocking out various temporary visa classes, but which ones? Students of English, university or TAFE/VET or PhD. (several institutions would be bankrupted)? Second year backpackers which have spiked at times due to Europeans and employment opportunities in Australia would preclude agricultural industry accessing seasonal labour. Further restricting and/or cancelling 457s in aged and health care, medicine etc. and hospitality would crash those supporting ageing and declining regional populations, logic defying? Beware of unintended consequences?

        Seems more about keeping ‘immigrants’ of any description in the spotlight to create a debate ‘torrid and emotional debate’ (UK MP Vince Cable) which helped to justify both UK and USA rushing to isolationism, while in MEL/SYD sole occupiers of company cars clogging up traffic on their daily work commute can blame these same ‘immigrants’

        Meanwhile in Australia the immigration or population debate is 100% problem highlighting but nothing about the ‘final solution’ ? Many suspect that the population movement was a rebranding of eugenics that the fossil fuel oligarchs has promoted more publicly in the past….. but are still around masquerading as ‘liberal and environmental’ ?

    • Baruch Spinoza

      Who cares what you do or don’t support – you are just blathering about nothing. Seriously – what the hell are you trying to say ?

      I have never read such incoherent drivel.

      Official stats are being used and you are spamming a tsunami of links questioning why the stats weren’t questioned making absurd claims regarding death rates, NOM rates etc.

      Whats your bloody point ? Are you seriously trying to say that there is no increase in volume when the rate remains static ?

      Seriously ?!

  6. Where is the national plan to cope with this mass immigration?

    To be more blunt: where is the public money?

    Adequate public infrastructure is possible if – and only if – there is a gradual increase in users who have been contributing to the public purse via GST and income tax over at least several years. No amount of planning will be enough without the trillions of dollars required to pay for what is needed by this constant tide of arrivals who, at the time they start using public infrastructure, have not paid to the public purse ** anything other than the GST on a milkshake or cup of tea in the arrivals hall at Sydney or Melbourne airport.

    **I would suggest that visa fees contribute at best some of the Immigration Dept running costs and are not net contributions to general revenue.

    • SchillersMEMBER

      To be more blunt: where is the public money?

      Exactly.
      Looking at it in reverse, we wouldn’t need the massive infrastructure spend if we didn’t have the rapid, almost instantaneous increase in population numbers in the first place. Slow population growth requires a commensurately slow growth in public spending on infrastructure. Our leaders have given us the worst of all possible outcomes: rapid population growth without the money to pay for the requisite rapid growth in infrastructure.

  7. On Saturday I had to drive from North Balwyn to Camberwell junction, 30 minutes stuck in traffic, then to Collingwood, another 25 minutes stuck in traffic. This is the new norm, thanks to the federal government bringing hundreds of thousands of new people into Melbourne without spending enough money on infrastructure. But according to some at work with experience in India, it’s nothing. So we now have to put up with lower standards and liveability benchmarks lowered. And no matter how bad Melbourne gets, it’s still way better compared to a lot of places so there won’t ever be a shortage of people wanting to live here. I guess this is globalisation of living standards.

    • Exponential growth in a finite world – there will never be a shortage of people until mother nature decides to unleash a mass die off event for us – as sure as night follows day.

      Could get an entirely artificial one before too long if Trump is intent on kicking Kim Jon Young ‘Uns arse or keeps on poking the Russian bear with a stick…..

    • Exactly.

      Do you remember all the those years ago when we were warned by environmentalists that if one day the Chinese and Indians et al ramped up their consumption to the same level as America then we would need something like eight planet Earths to provide the resources? Well, the easiest way (at least for now) for the world to accommodate the rise in living standards of the developing world’s middle class is for living standards in the West to fall until we all meet somewhere in the middle (and our living standards can fall in a variety of ways, just one being population increase leading to traffic congestion, increased housing prices, shrinking residential space etc).

      Yeah, it sucks to be us right now, but what is the alternative? We just expect China’s half-billion strong middle class to go back to living in total, abject poverty? I mean, as it is they’re only earning something like USD10,000 per annum. Maybe our problem is we just never appreciated how good we had it all those years.

      • Given most of those resources are energy resources, the easiest way to accomodate this rise in developing countries’ living standards would be to ensure that the increase in their energy requirements as a bare minimum is met entirely with renewable energy.

      • The alternative is that everyone lays in the beds they made.

        We have an ageing population, so our economy goes backward but we keep our space and natural environment – just living in house worth a lot less.

        China has already killed it’s natural environment by overbreeding and over industrialising, that’s their bed to lie in – not something the Australian natural environment should have to suffer for.

        Indians, for all their overbreeding, are at least letting the natural environment try and coexist with their cities but still, they stay where they are and work it out themselves – in their own country.

        I don’t come to your house expecting a place to sleep do I? For better or worse, I have my own bed and you have yours.

    • I did that journey several times on a Sunday in the late ’90s and early ’00s, and spent pretty much the same amount of time stuck in traffic. Those roads are just shit, and have had a reputation as such for a good 25 years.

      • AndrewMEMBER

        @Robert
        Maybe I went a different route to you, but it used to be a 15-20 minute trip without having to wait at traffic lights behind lots of cars, for a couple of traffic light cycles at various intersections on the way. You’re right about the roads being shit though, and despite the obvious increase in cars, there’s been no real attempt to improve them.

  8. May I just put it out there that every morning I get on the Werribee line, or I take a tram down St Kilda Road, then I take the Craigieburn line home. Every day I wonder in amazement as to where am I? Cultural relativism doesn’t really allow me to think about it or state it. But I do wonder if in Mumbai it Kolkata or Manila or Wuhan my “equvalent” looks around and wonders:
    ” why does everyone look exactly like me”
    Or:
    ” where the fuck has everyone gone?!”

    Ultimately, in our fear of racism chants we are no longer (we in western countries anyway, no one else is to) simply allowed to want to live and be with those the same or similar to us. My “equivalent” elsewhere doesn’t have to mind his mouth or thoughts when he simply likes to hang with folks like him.

    Culture – it’s just what we do, the way we do it. I’m getting fed up having to cloak everything in a rational, moderate, economically driven defense.

    Folks gravitate to the familiar – always have and always will. Somehow we have found ourselves in a perfect storm of a great social experiment starting be seen for what it is….the alignment of Harry Triguboff and Sarah’s hanson Young’s vision for our reality….

    I’m trying to unsee that love child. ???‍♂️

  9. Time for a re-run of the old bumper sticker:
    F%#& Off – We’re Full
    Unfortunately the people of Australia are not switched on- suffering from Boiling Frog Syndrome.
    If they don’t get nasty and ugly then nothing changes.

  10. Time for a re-run of the old bumper sticker:
    F%#& Off – We’re Full
    Unfortunately the people of Australia are not switched on- suffering from Boiling Frog Syndrome.
    If they don’t get nasty and ugly then nothing changes.

    • F%#& Off – We’re Full – my sentiments exactly.

      I think there was an article on these pages about how the WWF had given up trying to save animals, noting there was no point unless they could stop human population growth. If we are lucky enough to be in a country that has some nature left, it’s a treasure would should not squander for other humans – rather we should protect our country from them.

      • Australia still has a very small window of opportunity to arrest the destruction caused by the human population plague. Unfortunately our major leaders (Libs, labour and Greens) have totally lost the plot and accelerating us into long term devastation. How can the Greens even call themselves the Greens? How misleading! To encourage foolish population growth and pretend to protect the environment? WTF? They make me sick.
        The human being is such a destructive beast. Planet earth would be such a better place without the human monster.

  11. Actually it’s worse than stated in this article.

    Of the permanent migrant intake of 400k – only 25% are or 100k are actually skilled & productive, the remaining 75% of 300,000 a year being family members, or family reunion old sick & infirm or refugees again a huge unproductive cost burden.

    THEN ADD
    Temporary visa / exploded from 650,000 onshore to now nearly 2 million :
    almost all unskilled (apart from a small fraction of 457), the rest posing as ‘international students’, non NZ born Indians & Asians via the well trodden NZ special category visa back door, ‘backpackers’ that pay a labor services & farmer bribe to do visa churn, special exemption visas, partner visa bridging visas : you name it : we have a pretext visa they can rort.

    Then ADD 85,000 overstayers.

    Then ADD 400,000 ‘tourist long stay or multiple visit visas illegally working (5% of the 8 million tourist visa arrivals).
    -> That’s another 2.4 million.

    91% concentration in the 2 main cities.
    About 1 million each in Sydney & Melbourne.
    Almost 1.6 million of this 2.4 million only here to working illegally with multiple fake ID, cash in hand, illicit or vice work or underground black market labour racketeering.

    There is something we could fix.

    Firstly / shut the NZ special category visa backdoor.

    One reason Auckland has a migrant issue is that it’s the backdoor into Australia (on a NZ SCV) for third world Indian & Asian migrants that can’t get directly into Australia. About half the NZ visa holders coming in now are non NZ born. This SCV should be restricted to NZ born only & over 18 years old (and vice versa for Australians PR seeking to go to NZ).

    And let’s follow China’s rules on temporary & tourist visa holders. In the spirit of reciprocity & visa access harmonisation.

    Registering at the local police station their address who they pay rent to and their Purpose in the country.

    Location and concentration controls on migrants & temporary visa holders.

    No tourist can work at all – including performing home duties or family’s care with strict enforcement.

    Funds for any course must be paid in full in advance.
    Only high level genuine internationally recognised courses.
    Severe restrictions on international students working, requires Chinese government and education provider approvals and full tracking.

    Foreign skilled workers & employers are subject to a Chinese government panel for approval and foreigners only permitted if very high skil or expertise & Chinese can’t do the work.
    Visa only for the dates of the course or skilled work.
    Must leave immediately on the visa date.
    Partner & bridging visas must be applied for offshore.

    Minimal family reunion, very difficult and additional family members must be fully funded and wait many years for any government assistance.

    Can’t buy property (or land at all)..

    It’s about time we started having similar rules to the country’s that are abusing our visa system.
    No one is against skilled productive immigration or genuine temporary or tourist visa holders but what we have in Australia is a totally corrupted unsustainable economic and social impact debacle, riddled with blatant fraud, vice, criminal activity & corruption.

    We need a Royal Commission into the whole visa racket and some rapid action to undo the economic & social impacts it’s causing Australia.